Sharks receive Bok boost

The Sharks have recalled three Springboks to their starting lineup for the match against the Stormers at Newlands.

JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn only returned to Durban from Japan earlier this week, but they have been slotted straight into the side, where they will form a new centre partnership.

The Sharks have also been boosted by the inclusion of Willem Alberts, who has been given the all-clear to play after recovering from a series of injuries.

He will form part of an all-Springbok back row alongside Marcell Coetzee and Ryan Kankowski, with the latter set to win his 100th Vodacom Super Rugby cap when he runs out at Newlands.

'We are in a fortunate position that we have experienced Springbok players that have either recovered from injury or have returned from Japan,' said director of rugby Gary Gold. 'We are excited to have them back and involved in our match-day squad. We also have commitments to Saru to rest selected players.

'The Stormers are the in-form team in South Africa at present and we are playing them in front of their passionate home crowd. We are under no illusions about how tough the challenge is going to be.

'This is probably going to be a tougher battle than last week. Our squad has had a good training week and are determined to get our campaign back on a winning track.'

Sharks 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 André Esterhuizen, 23 Jack Wilson.

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Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images